Friday, September 21, 2007

Middle class an endangered species

Out of league real estate prices in New York City is not news to most residents, but its negative impact on young couples is shocking to many who realize they may not be able to attain what their parents did at the same age.

Middle Class Struggle For Homes

According to the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, although the city’s median family income is $75,000, a survey showed that New Yorkers believe a middle- class standard of living requires an income closer to $135,000.

Photo from Queens Chronicle


Anonymous said...

This is both sad and dangerous news.

The success of any city depends largely
upon its middle class.
It's been historically proven that
top and bottom-heavy cities
(extremes of rich & poor) don't do very well.

The middle class invented the city.
Before that it was (land)lords & serfs !

H-m-m-m.....wait a moment......
are we returning to the past....
to the 800 or 1100s AD perhaps?

The Lord Mayor of NYC and the real estate barons ?

Anonymous said...

You forgot the pink jester. We have one of those too.

Anonymous said...

The article focuses on a married couple, one a schoolteacher and the other a sanitation worker. A couple with those incomes should be able to afford a $400,000-$500,000 home. Combined they must make (or will soon make)$130,000-$160,000 per year. I have many friends in the Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale area with incomes at that level or less that purchased houses.

Anonymous said...

That would be fine except most homes in that area are in excess of $600,000.

Anonymous said...

Look you are competeing against people from third world countries that are happy with 150 sq ft to raise a family.

You have infinite demand thanks to no borders and a deperate Democratic party that would sign up a yellow dog if they could be assured on how it would vote.

Untl that situation changes, there is absolutely nothing you can do about this.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans need tons of people to take care of their lawns and kids, too.

Come to think of it, exploiting workers and tenants is something that cuts across party lines.

Add to the mix desperate churches that want to fill pews to replace those that they drove out, and you have a number of powerful lobbies that believe its perfectly fine to crush the middle class.

That is a legacy of public apathy in politics, and will remain such until the public raises up.

Let it soak a few more years. It will be the hot topic in the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Go on MLSLI and check for single-family houses in MV, Glendale and Maspeth for $500,000 or under. There are 29 listings. 11 in Maspeth, 10 in Glendale and 8 in Middle Village. And these are only the houses that are on the multiple listing service.

Anonymous said...

The cheaper houses will of course need more work, which, last time I checked, costs $$$$$$.

A good house that allows for family growth will cost you more than $700,000. Look in the windows of local realtors or in the newspapers and you'll see. But somehow I get the feeling that you aren't from around here.

Anonymous said...

Do the same MLSLI search for single-family homes costing $700,000 or more. There are only 8, all in Middle Village.
Actually, I grew up in the area and own my house in this area. You may have some anecdotal views on this, but if you look at the facts, most single-family homes in the area are under $700,000.

Anonymous said...

A one-family home is really not an option. Most people need rental income in order to be able to afford their mortgages.

Anonymous said...

And as prices have soared, quality of life has declined. Mileo said her block used to include half a dozen houses, a number that has doubled since she grew up there. She fears eventually, “there won’t be backyards.”

So overdevelopment destroys quality of life? OH MY GOD!

Anonymous said...

supply and demand

tear down the crap, build more units

us folks with families will stay instead of moving to jersey.

Nobody i know would want to move into a 500k dump in maspeth next to a rail line and a cheapo motel.

supply is low thanks to your "dont change the archie bunker neighborhood" mentality

Thank god for areas like queens west, 2000 units coming on line next year. Competition will drive prices down. OUR Generation will be able to stay. And when the old timers leave, we will tear down their old homes and build newer, more dense buildings.

Anonymous said...

You know, i am glad you brought up Archie Bunker.

Like blacks have rejected the sterotype of Stepn Fetchit, asians Fu Manchu, and native Americans, Chief Nockahoma, you guys are going to have to get used to Queens residents no longer being defined by a slick huckster like Norman Lear.

The very fact that you link us to Archie tells us that you are not a Queensite, but likely some underling for a developer.

From now on WE will define what WE are - transgress at your peril.

We are from Queens and are proud.

Lift your head, and say it loud.

Anonymous said...

"Thank god for areas like queens west, 2000 units coming on line next year. Competition will drive prices down."

I like how they define 'units'- its something like 40,000 PEOPLE you jerk and we have no services to sustain that sort of population.

As to supply and demand, in the 70s you built little and rents were stable, today you are in a building frenzy and rents just keep climbing.

The problem is not supply, but demand. Immigrants and foreign money is driving up the housing prices so that American citizens can no longer afford to live as their parents.

Building affordable housing (what ever the hell that means) will take money that is 'saved' in rent and pay it out in higher taxes for the upgrade in services.

You developers all full of Crap!

Anonymous said...

After considering other costs (like college/grad school loans and car/transportation costs), the average household needs an annual income of closer to *$200,000* to buy a decent starter home in a better area of Queens (i.e., not in a "tweeded" neighborhood).

georgetheatheist said...

The median family income in NYC is in the $40,000 range - NOT $75,000. The left-wing Drum Major Institute got its facts wrong.

(And the Chronicle missed fact-checking the error.)

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember
how the "All In The Family"series pans out?

Archie Bunker who was always depicted as a
conservative uneducated and uncaring bigot
wound up being the most tolerant and
sympathetic one over a long period of time
despite his constant bickering and grumbling
to the contrary .

His son in law, "the meat-head"
(a pseudo liberal...."HIPSTER"....if you will)
left his wife Gloria.....abandoning their child
in the process....
and showing himself to be the selfish
dumb fickle dope that he really was all along.

It was Archie and his big hearted wife Edith
who wound up taking most of the responsibility
of caring for and assisting his extended family!

So when push came to shove
the Bunker family is the bedrock
of the neighborhood....of American society....
not the ersatz diddlers and wanna-bees....
yuppies eager to gentrify areas
believing they've got the world by the tail.
until one member of those young
double income households
suddenly looses their job....that is).

Norman Lear, obviously,
cast Archie as the metaphorical hero
of the show.

So enough with the Archie Bunker insults
to Queens. I'm proud of him!

Anonymous said...

might be wrong about this but I always thought Gloria caused the breakup by having an affair.

Anonymous said...

The point is working families can not afford to buy a house in Queens. We live in Sunnyside our combined income is 123k, we still can not afford a house. Sad, but true.

Anonymous said...

You may want to check that George. They are talking about household income, not per individual income.
People who make $125,000 a year should be taking in, after taxes, approximately $6,000 to $6,250 a month. $150,000 a year should bring in $7,000-$7,500 a month, after taxes. A $400,000 mortgage at a 6.5% 30-year fixed rate would cost approximately $2,500 a month. Add in taxes and insurance and you will be around $3,000 a month. A $350,000 mortgage on the same terms will reduce your payments by around $300 a month. You may not be able to live lavishly but it should be manageable to buy a good house in a good neighborhood in Queens and afford to live nicely.

Anonymous said...

You can pay $1000 a month to rent in Queens or $3000 a month to buy. Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

Please show me a $400,000 "good house" in a "good neighborhood" in Queens.

Queens Crapper said...

Representing the hood

Who can afford these prices that grew up here?

Anonymous said...

Crapper, MLSLI will have many listings of good houses in the $400-$500k range in Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale. It will have many more than the NY Times. Why don't you do a search there and show the results? Maybe these commenters don't think those are "good" neighborhoods, but I do.
What type of apartment are you going to rent for $1,000 a month? It will be tiny or crappy or out of the way of any transportation. Rents in good areas in Queens are definitely higher than that. And of course you will pay more in order to own your property.
Also, Gloria did have an affair while they lived in the old Jeffersons' house. Mike stayed with her and they moved to California, but I don't think they were ever able to get past it before they separated.

Anonymous said...

So enough with the Archie Bunker insults
to Queens. I'm proud of him!


you must be from eastern queens. the former cultural 'heart' of the borough.

well some things do get better.

Queens Crapper said...

Wow let me dissect this line by line.

Crapper, MLSLI will have many listings of good houses in the $400-$500k range in Middle Village, Maspeth and Glendale.

MLSLI is the dumping ground for houses with problems. If you are seeing a price of $400,000 or $500,000 it is almost a sure bet that the house needs a lot of work or has other issues.

Maybe these commenters don't think those are "good" neighborhoods, but I do. What type of apartment are you going to rent for $1,000 a month? It will be tiny or crappy or out of the way of any transportation.

The vast majority of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale, neighborhoods you consider "good" are out of the way of decent transportation. The bus crawls along the congested streets and the subway is more than a mile away.

Rents in good areas in Queens are definitely higher than that.

You can definitely rent a decent apartment for $1,000 a month in the area you just called "good." I do. I am a block away from a park, I have laundry facilities on premises and a yard.

And of course you will pay more in order to own your property.

Yes, let's not forget the mortgages you quoted are just the base!

Anonymous said...

Look, stop arguing over prices.

The immigrant is willing to take crap housing and let many people shoehorned into one unit drives up rents.

hot money from abroad is removing the higher end stuff from the market.

and since everyone these days are into 'cash' you can never fairly compete if you play by the rules as most people who are raised here were taught to do.

I want Hillary to call for an official study to see if foreign money and immigrants are distorting the real estate market so her constituents, American citizens and taxpayers, cannot afford housing.

This is, after all, a result of federal policy.

But, spending months in New Hampshire and Iowa, and down time in Westchester, I guess she knows nothing about these things.

Anonymous said...

The M train stops in Middle Village, and the express buses get you into midtown Manhattan in 30-45 minutes. I have friends that rent in Middle Village, and $1,000 a month is really cheap.
Any seller can tell his broker to list on MLSLI to get more coverage. It doesn't mean a house is a problem. Instead of going by what you think is out there, just look at the local realtor's sites. You can see how much homes are selling for. Good starter homes in these decent neighborhoods can be had at manageable prices for households making in the $125-150k a year range.
Also, Archie Bunker may have been a decent person, but no one should say that a bigoted, ignorant person like he was portrayed is representative of Queens residents. I grew up here, my mother grew up here, my grandparents moved to Queens from the Lower East Side in 1951, and none of us ever had the Archie Bunker attitude.

Queens Crapper said...

The M train stops at the edge of Middle Village, where it borders Ridgewood. If you don't live within a few blocks of there, you're SOL. The express bus takes more than an hour to get you home from 3rd Avenue and 57th Street. I have taken it many a time.

Why would a broker have to put an under market value house in mint condition on MLSLI to "get more coverage" for it? It should sell rather fast without it.

Anonymous said...

The QM24 SUCKS ASS!!!!

Anonymous said...

" the express buses get you into midtown Manhattan in 30-45 minutes. "

The QM24 is the ONLY express bus that comes here and in my experience you either are stuck getting to the QB bridge, in LIE traffic, or on Queens Blvd. I got on it one day at 5:30 and got home at 7:00.

georgetheatheist said...

"You may want to check that George"

I did.

From the U.S. 2000 Census:

The median HOUSEHOLD income:

For the entire U.S.: $41,994
For New York State: $43,393
For New York City: $38,293

That was 7 years ago. There is no way that NYC median Household income is $75,000 today.

According to the April 12, 2007 report of the NYC Rent Guidelines board, there are 393,800 NYC residents on public assistance.

(What a dichotomy. The Bronx is the poorest county in the nation. The Upper East side is the richest neighborhood [postal code 1002l].)

Anonymous, of the 393,800 people on welfare in our fair burg, how many contribute to, dare I say it, the middle to upper-middle class Queens Crap blog site? ... How many of them even own a computer?

Sorry, the Drum Major Institute and you don't know what you are talking about

Anonymous said...

I think people are missing the point here. You are somehow trying to say that a couple with good city jobs can't afford a house in a decent neighborhood in Queens, but if you look at the numbers and the facts, that just isn't the case. I don't know why you think that the government should institute policies that ensure that a couple making $125,000-$150,000 a year is able to buy a big house in Middle Village for under $300,000. A couple making that much can afford to buy a nice house at the current market prices. And whatever apartment you can rent for $1,000 is not comparable to owning a house.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gallagher had many "affairs" just like Gloria....
but that's an entirely different situation !

Have YOU personally had any affairs (cheated)
that caused a breakup between you
and your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend?
(That's merely a rhetorical question).

Adults make allowances and sacrifices.
Just look at "Billary".
Politics and self importance and dynastic power
are far more important,in this case.
That's what keeps these dual air bags together!

If the "meathead" weren't such a pompous
self espousing egocentric HIPSTER know it all.....
(maybe Gloria wouldn't have had the affair to begin with). H-m-m-m-m!